The Training Function in HR
Part of human resource management (HRM) involves finding the right workers and training them so that they're strong assets to your company. The role of training in HRM not only includes improving your workers' skills so that they do great work, but it also focuses on preparing your company for the future in terms of gaining a competitive advantage and having suitable candidates for future leadership positions. Effective training allows your company to reap financial, operational, and reputation benefits, so understanding best practices is crucial for implementing the right learning activities.
The primary function of training and development is to prepare employees with the tools and skills needed to do productive and high-quality work that will allow the company to serve its customers effectively. Training also serves to help your company stay competitive and innovative through the use of ongoing learning activities in response to changes and practices in the industry. In the long term, training helps with succession planning since your company can identify possible successors early on and provide development activities that prepare candidates for future leadership positions.
Well-trained employees have a positive impact on how productively your company operates since they'll likely work more quickly, collaborate better for group tasks and make fewer mistakes. Providing ongoing development can help make your employees more satisfied and improve morale in the workplace. Your company ultimately benefits in terms of time and money with well-trained and satisfied workers, and your customers benefit from better products and services.
At the same time, your company can gain a reputation as a good place to work and do business with when it invests in training and developing its workers. Not only can this bring in more customers who seek businesses that care about their staff, but you may find it easier to attract strong job candidates. You'll likely find it easier to retain your existing workers when they feel capable in their jobs as well.
Training also benefits your company with better long-term organizational growth and increased innovation. By staying on top of industry trends and not being afraid to teach your staff new technologies and skillsets, you can prepare your business for the future and better compete in the marketplace. Identifying employee weaknesses and addressing them with training will improve the consistency and efficiency in how your company operates, which can increase your likelihood of financial growth.
Your specific goals for training and the type of job will determine the method you use, and you have several options that vary in flexibility, cost and length. For new employees, you might create an extensive onboarding program consisting of classroom training, online courses and hands-on training under the supervision of another experienced person in the role. For ongoing development activities, your options can range from having employees attend meetings or seminars to using computer-based training and one-to-one coaching. Often, you'll find that using a mix of training formats will better serve your employees and their learning styles than focusing on a single method.
Now that you know the role of training in HRM and its benefits and methods, it's helpful to prepare for training with a clear plan that identifies job-specific skills and any weaknesses your employees have. After you know the goals of training, you can identify appropriate activities that will fill the learning gaps identified. You'll then carry out those training activities and do regular performance reviews to look for improvement. In the process, you might find that additional training is needed even as you see improvement.
For a real-world example, you may notice that your customer service representative needs to improve her selling skills so that customers are more likely to purchase service plans for the electronics your company sells. You might have your employee take an online course in selling techniques, do some role-playing exercises and observe your highest performing salesperson. After training, you might find that she has sold more service plans but still struggles a bit. You might then offer her some personal coaching or mentoring as needed.